Mark was born on March 11, 1946 in Findlay, Ohio. Raised until he was fourteen in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, he became a lifelong Cardinal fan when he caught a homerun off the bat of Stan Musial during batting practice. Following his family east when his father became the tunnel expert for the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel he went to high school at Westfield High School in New Jersey. Mark returned to the Midwest when he entered the University of Michigan with every intention of becoming a Civil Engineer like his father, but in his sophomore year he discovered the theatre and the literature of entertainment and, though he has looked back many times, he has never turned around.
Mark has had a great career, appearing in many movie and television roles. His most memorable performance would probably be as Douglas C. Neidermeyer in National Lampoon's Animal House. Who can ever forget "Is that a pledge pin on your uniform!! The role was later reprised in the Twisted Sister videos of the mid-eighties I Wanta Rock and Were Not Gonna Take It and his tag line, What do you wanta do with your life became a kind of mantra for a generation of head bangers and slackers.
Before getting involved with film Mark had a distinguished career on stage. His first professional acting job was with the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre in 1971. He did a full season there as a personal experiment and when the year ended he was completely hooked and moved to New York City. He has worked with the Seattle Repertory Theatre, as well as the Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Stage West in Springfield, MA, McCarter Theatre in Princeton, and many other fine regional theatres across the country. One of his first jobs after reaching New York was to tour Catholic high schools throughout the east coast and the Midwest with a production of Glass Menagerie and two Chekov one acts.
After Animal House in 1978, Mark was busy producing films such as Head Over Heels, aka Chilly Scenes of Winter and making many television appearances. Later, he went on to produce Girls in Suits At Lunch for the Arts and Entertainment Network. He now produces a series of short films written by high school students and made with a crew of professionals working as mentors to students for a group that he created called Collaborative Cinema in partnership with the Milwaukee Film Festival. Some of the titles, like The Waiting Room and Ward Three, are available at www.milwaukee-film.org. But whenever given the chance he always returns to acting.
Someone once said, after looking at Mark's IMDb page that his career looks like a history of television. That is hardly the case but he has appeared in more than fifty shows since the Karen Valentine Show in the early seventies. Some of the more notable are the early episodes of Hill Street blues, Barnaby Jones, Hotel, Party of Five, Star Trek: Voyager, Ally McBeal, Walker: Texas Ranger, Teen Angel, and most recently Mad Men. Standout experiences on television though were playing The Maestro on several episodes of Seinfeld and being the Master, the original big bad, during the first season of Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Mark has continued to work in films like New Line Cinema's The Stupids with John Landis directing, One Crazy Summer with Demi Moore and John Cusack, Oscar, again with John Landis as director, Drive Me Crazy with Adrian Grenier, and many others. Lately he has been supporting the low budget independent film market in Wisconsin where he lives by acting in Tate Bunker's Resurrection Ferns, Fort McCoy and The Adventures of Belvis Bash.
He works to support the Milwaukee Film Festival and has created a program to teach high school students to write for the movies and to learn the many crafts that go into creating a good movie. He acts for First Stage Children's Theatre and has begun directing at Sunset Playhouse, both in Wisconsin where he lives and makes his way through the snow with his son.